Well, I need to catch up here seeing that its been a few days after I got to Germany.
The first day of travel, it was interesting to say the least.
Well, to start out with, we were leaving out of LAX, on Monday, around 3:10pm. Unfortunately, the person who I was going with (going to refer to him as Frank) didn't realize that I was going to be visiting family as well. He didn't get into SLO until Sunday evening, I was kind of hoping that we could have stayed at my Mom's house on Sunday night, but yeah... that didn't happen. So I went back up to SLO Sunday evening just so Frank and I could leave early morning Monday. The drive wasn't too bad, didn't really experience any form of traffic till we hit LA proper.
We picked up Mom, Brother and family and continued out to LAX (Brother was driving his own separate car, six people are hard to squeeze into one car). My brother was doing some normal blocking as we traveled, the way caravans are supposed to be done. :-)
Well, we got out to LAX, and I had a small argument with Mom about where to go (she won, of course). We stayed on the outer loop just "so we could see where to go for departure". Could have done it within the inner loop, but whatever. Almost lost my brother on that one, unfortunately, left him behind as he got stuck from pesdestrians crossing the street. Could have been a few points there, but I guess he didn't want the law chasing after him. :-)
So we get to the parking structure and parked, met up with brother and his family, and proceeded to the check out counter. Now bear in mind, when I called the airline, they said "allow for FOUR HOURS" for checkin time. YEAH RIGHT! When we got in line, there was only one other person ahead of us at the check in counter. So I thought, "okay, we'll experience some problems later".
My baggage (had two bags) made the weight limit (Frank stuffed everything into one bag, so his was over the limit). Then we had to take the check in bags for inspection. Well, this is where I thought that we would get hit. There was a mile long line for people to have baggage inspection. Then some security guards came up and said "There is another one on the other side". Needless to say we got through the inspection quite quickly (and didn't have anything confiscated either). :-)
We got at the check in counter around 11:30am, and well, by that point it was around 12:30pm or so, give or take a minute. So I grabbed some McDonalds, before going to the personal checkout. Gave some long goodbyes and hugs to Mom, brother and family, showed the boarding pass to the security guard, and continued on my way. (Was a little choked up with the goodbye, but I knew that I would be back soon).
The personal security checkpoint went fairly quickly. I set my backpack down, had my valuables in a ziplock bag that they had available at the boarding pass check in area, put the ziplock bag down, put my jacket in the personal holder box that they had, and walked on through without any problems. Although my backpack was flagged. What the heck? So I followed the security personnel to a table for the backpack. Well, come to find out, I needed to have taken my laptop out of the backpack. ??? Okay, so the person wiped down the laptop with a little cloth (I would assume to check for chemicals), opened it up to check the inside, and flagged it okay. Took the backpack over to be rescanned without any further problems. So I think to myself... why didn't she open up my CD case to check there? (Not that I was carrying anything dangerous, it just struck me as curious).
Well, Frank and I get past the security checkpoint, get to the gate and.... wait two hours because we got through the checkpoints quick enough.
Well... I'm going to continue the next bit on the next post...